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Monday, June 24, 2013

Strawberries Make Us Happy!

At the end of the day on Saturday, my crew and I picked up the last few pint containers left in the pick-yer-own shed, and headed out together to the berry patch.  We walked by harvested rows of broccoli where we had been twelve hours prior, chopping heads and pulling stems.  We saw tired, hot, kale plants, slightly wilted from the day's heat.  We saw cabbage leaves strewn about like sheets when you miss your alarm in the morning and are rushing out of bed.  And then, we saw the strawberries.  We swooped in low, knees to the ground, bodies resting after a long six-day week of farming in June, and paused long after every berry picked.  One to eat, one for the pint container.  The five of us, present in that moment, were flung across the sixteen-bed patch.  Each of us quiet, taking in the distinct sounds of the farm that rise to the surface after we shut the barn for the night and the last car crackles out of the farm road, leaving the fields to just the farmers for a moment. 

I held a berry in my left hand, examining it's green cap. I tugged at each tiny leaf with my right hand until there was nothing left but the bright red fruit.  One to eat, one for the pint container.  Repeat.  We stayed in the patch together for a while, letting the last day of the work week linger, as we enjoyed each other's company.  Silently, in that moment, we recognized the fleeting nature of a farm season.  As fast as the strawberries came in, they will be gone.  To savor them fully in this moment was our job.  To savor the beauty of this farm season for all it is, is our job.  Like the berries, our season comes and goes so quickly, one never quite like the one before or the one after.  So, I savored the taste of this moment, with the delicious berries that make us all happy and with this talented crew, knowing there would never be a patch of berries or a farm crew, quite like this one.



See you in the strawberry patch,

Meryl & The Powisset Farm Crew




2013 farm.  beauty.


After the picking.....
I rushed my berries inside and made my first clafoutis of the season!
(can be made gluten free too)! check it out:

clafoutis! wish my picture showed how tasty this was!

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
3 cups strawberries
1/3 cup powdered sugar


  • blend milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, flour
  • pour 1/4 inch layer of batter in a lightly buttered dish
  • cook for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees or til batter sets
  • take dish out of oven-spread fruit and the rest of batter and some of the powdered sugar on top
  • bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees
  • yay!
  • ps...what's your clafoutis recipe? share!



More about Pies: Bushel+Crumb update!
Special Order Pies for the Week of July 4th!

On July 2nd, we will be offering the opportunity to buy individual pies even if you aren't in the pie share.  6" or 9" sweet and savory pies are available for special order.
Regular pie share members will receive a savory pie next week.
The sweet variety will most likely be: Strawberry rhubarb with ginger crumble
The savory variety will most likely be: Spinach, green garlic, and herb with goat cheese
Please note that pie flavors depend entirely on the availability of our locally sourced produce and may change unexpectedly due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but with farming, some things are just out of our control!
To order a pie (or more than one) for pick up on July 2nd at Powisset Farm, please complete the form on our website .  If you have any questions, feel free to email us directly at info@bushelandcrumb.com


What's in the Share:
In the Barn: lettuce, carrots, beets, cabbage or kohrabi, kale, scallions, fennel, broccoli 
Pick-yer-own: strawberries, sugar snap peas, shelling peas, swiss chard


Coming later this week....who is growing these vegetables? Crew profiles!





Monday, June 17, 2013

How Many Beets is Too Many Beets?



Sometimes I wonder if we grow too many beets.  I mean, I love beets.  And sometimes I wonder if you all love beets.  Or maybe you tolerate them.  Or maybe you wish there were more.  Or you wish they were bigger, or you wish they were smaller, or you want more yellow ones, or red ones or striped ones or blue ones. Blue beets?  These are the things I wonder when I wake up in the morning thinking about planting beets.  And today was one of those mornings.

I walked out my door a little before 7am, pulling my dog Henry out of bed so that she could chase the geese out of the field before we started the days work.  I met up with Deb, our summer crew captain, in the dark of the little farm office.  She was holding a bowl of warm strawberry muffins; I was holding a bottle of sunscreen.  We talked about delicious strawberries and the week ahead and about the beets we were about to plant.

Deb pulled the truck up to the greenhouse and loaded tray after tray of ‘merlin’ and ‘touchstone gold’ beet seedlings onto the long bed of the truck.  I hopped onto my favorite orange tractor (the one with the canopy) and went to prepare the beet field.  I carved the ‘perfecta,’ (our amazing tool that loosens and smoothes the soil just before we plant), through the sandy part of the farm, where garlic used to grow last season.  I marked the rows with our transplanter; 3 rows per bed, beets every six inches.  Then, I quieted the tractors and Deb and I silently began filling the beets into the warm, soft, sandy, soil.  The roots of the beets glowed red and yellow--filling out the square plug where they had been growing since early May. 

The rest of the summer crew marched out in matching rain pants, ready for the day and jumped in with us.  We picked up speed and danced around each other, some of us planting, some dropping plants every 6 inches along the bed.  We played a sort of leap frog, pushing through bed after bed of tiny beet seedlings.  By the end of the eight beds we planted, four red, four yellow, the sun was beating down on us and I wondered out loud, once again, if sometimes we grow too many beets.

Hours later, after a burst of storm and rain, I walked out to check on the newly planted beets—now thoroughly watered in.  The sun was piercing through the trees, the mist creeping in from the trees surrounding the fields, the crops looked like they had been through a tornado, slanted and wet.  Henry barked and I looked up to see the double rainbow arching over the entire farm.  So big I couldn’t take a picture of it all at once.  I ran with the dog down the length of the farm to capture the view and forgot all about whether or not we grow too many beets.  


See you in the fields,

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew




Rainbow at the Farm!



 
Light at Powisset after a rain storm

What's in the Share:

Up at the barn: lettuce, broccoli, beets, carrots, choice of greens: spinach & swiss chard, choice: kale & cabbage, turnips or radishes, scallions, garlic scapes

Out in the fields: strawberries, sugar snap peas


What's New at the Farm Stand!:
Pie, Pottery, Seafood, Cheese!

This week begins our Pie Share partnership with Bushel & Crumb!  If you have signed up for a pie share, you are in for a treat! Your first sweet pie is on it's way!  If you have not signed up for a pie share and you love pies, fear not!  We will have small and large pies up at the stand and this week will highlight the delicious strawberry!

We also have newly stocked the fridge with Appleton Farm yogurt and cheese, Nola's fresh salsa, Moose Hill Farm eggs and beef from High Ridge Meadows Farm!

This Saturday, our amazing potter, Sue will be back with bowls and mugs and vases and berry bowls and more!  She will be on  the farm from 10am-5pm! Stop by!

And as usual, Jordan Brothers Seafood will be at our farm three days a week: Tuesday 1:30-6:30, Thursday 1:30-6:30 and Saturday 10am-2pm!  This fish is awesome!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Sea of Peppers




Powisset Peppers!
We grow eighteen different varieties of peppers.  We grow green bell peppers, red, orange and yellow bell peppers, frying peppers, and sweet bite-size peppers that I like to pull from the plants by the handfuls and snack on while I walk the fields at the end of a long day.  There are new varieties that promise to glow like a sunrise or taste like sweet chocolate.  There are old favorites that have filled thousands of bins over many seasons of picking. And there is the variety whose name I can never remember, but whose taste reminds me of late summer and I know when I pull it from the plant and toss it into the harvest bin that it will stand out from the rest up in the barn.

Today we crawled up and down row upon row of our soon-to-be pepper field.  Carefully we organized our pepper varieties, labeled each row and began planting our eighteen different kinds of peppers.  A few farmers walked ahead of the rest of us, laying the plants in their proper space, while the rest of us followed behind, settling the peppers in their new home in the soft soil.  With my left hand I held the pepper like a flower, gently resting it across my palm.  My right hand plunged into the soil, moving a soft scoop of earth aside to make room for the roots of the pepper. Then my two hands worked together to press the pepper into the ground firmly, encouraging it's roots to begin growing here.
our sea of peppers

We grow eighteen varieties of peppers, and twenty varieties of lettuce and nine varieties of cucumber and six types of beets and fifteen varieties of potatoes and they all blend together over a season.  So many peppers, shining in bins, and beets tumbling in a root washer, and cucumbers hiding in a sea of vines, will make it out of the field and onto your tables.  Which pepper will become your favorite this year?

From a field now filled with peppers,

Meryl & the Powisset Crew




our farm


What’s in the share this week:

At the barn: Lettuce, spinach, arugula, scallions, broccoli, kale or kohlrabi, beets, hakurei turnips 
Pick-your-own: maybe strawberries!

Monday, June 3, 2013

CSA Begins! June 4th!





Powisset Farm harvests begin!
Today was one of those rare days where I get to spend the entire day on the farm, alone.  I woke up to the sound of my dog barking at the birds and the sight of the sun electrifying the orange curtain in my room.  With coffee in hand, I wove through the tractor barn; the growing fleet of machines surrounded me and I felt like Goldilocks, trying to find just the right one to drive out into the fields.  I settled on the yellow International Cub and puttered out to begin a solo cultivation expedition.  Up and down beds of swiss chard, lettuce, leeks; I showed no mercy for the weeds and looked back at each clean row with pride.  With ear protection on and the steady hum of the motor, I am lulled into a focused rhythm and my mind quiets of all the to-do lists that normally, endlessly, scroll through my brain.  I enter into a section of tiny beets that have only been in the ground for a couple weeks.  I lower the eight baskets on the cultivation tool, slowly until the baskets make contact with the soil, then a little lower.  I ease my foot off of the clutch and away I go for what may have been the fiftieth bed of the day.  


scallions, fennel, escarole!
I get about ten feet into the bed when a killdeer throws herself in front of my path--faking an injury to draw me away from something else; her nest.  I depress the clutch; look all around me, fearing I may have already gone too far.  But, there, about three feet ahead of me, between two beets, is a small nest with a single egg in it.  I lift the baskets, drive forward, pass the nest, then resume my work.  I finish the bed, turn the tractor around, and begin the adjacent bed of beets.  As I near the end of the bed, the bird becomes disturbed and tries to distract me from her nest once again.  I turn my head to the left as I drive by and I see two eggs in the nest.  Two eggs!  The bird was mid-egg-laying!  I smile a wide smile and call out to the sky some exclamation like, ‘incredible!’  This farm, each row is growing so much life.  Hundreds of beets, and now four killdeer eggs, share the same row, the same time, the same place on this farm to flourish!

I think about how we all: Powisset farmers, CSA members, Powisset Farm visitors and volunteers, have chosen this place, and this time, to flourish here!  We will come together this week to begin a new season of growing and eating vegetables together.  We will come together in the barn to select our lettuce, kale and tomatoes, which will be the ingredients to feed ourselves, our families and our friends.  We will make our way out to the fields to pick strawberries together and hear the snap of the pea when we pull the first one from the plant and pop it into our mouth.  We will figure out if we love fennel or if we hate it!  We will get creative with kale and cry as we cut into the fresh white onions in the summer time. 

The beginning of the farm season is always so full of hope with the promise of so many joys and challenges to come.  Sometimes, I feel like the mama killdeer, laying her eggs in a row of beets, willing to hurl herself in front of the tractor to protect and nurture what she is growing.  I drive off, away from the beets towards some beautiful baby lettuce, lower the baskets into the soil, ease my foot of the clutch, and go!  A new season begins! 

See you in the fields,

Meryl & the Powisset Farm Crew
June 2013



When are Pick-ups?

 Pick-ups start this week! Distribution hours:

Tuesday, June 4th 1:30-6:30 - Thursday, June 6th 1:30-6:30 -  Saturday, June 8th 10am-5pm
The Farm Stand open all three days a week


What's in the share this week:

Green leaf lettuce, spinach, bok choi, radishes, hakurei turnips, green garlic, kale
choice of green: escarole/arugula/broccoli raab, 

favas flowering!


Vendors at Farm:
Jordan Brothers Seafood: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Lightening Ridge Farm (local lamb): Thursday


New at the Farm Stand: 
cheese from Appleton Farm (cheddar and triple cream)
Yogurt, 16oz and 32oz containers
eggs from Moose Hill Farm in Sharon